THE CAR-O-LINER HISTORY
Car-O-Liner was founded in 1934 under the name Sandins Metal Factory in Sundbyberg by Assar Gabrielsson (part owner). In 1935 its product assortment included letterboxes, telephone booths, clothing rods and other lego production. In 1948 the name was changed to SA ME FA. Production was moved to Kungsör in 1956 while the main office remained in Sundbyberg.
In 1970 SA ME FA rented its premises and staff to Swedish Development Company (SUAB) for the manufacturing of vehicle license plates. The production of 350 000 license plates per year provided steady income for ten years. The product line soon expanded to include vehicle scales and alignment benches.
THE CAR-O-LINER NAME
The very first Car-O-Liner universal alignment bench and mechanical measuring system was launched in 1973 under the new company name: Car-O-Liner. Car-O-Liner’s name comes from a joining of “car of aligning” – Caroliner and Karoliner, after Karl XII:s (1654-1718) soldiers who were known for their offensive attacks. The fledgling Car-O-Liner adopted the blue and yellow of the Karoliner uniforms and is to this day known as an aggressive competitor in the collision repair industry. The name: Caroliner was changed with the growth of export to the USA in the early 1980s due to its similarity to the states N. & S. Carolina and became CAR-O-LINER.
From 1976 to 2002 subsidiaries were opened in the USA, the UK and Germany (1976-1971), and Car-O-Liner AB was registered as a manufacturing company (1987). Expansion continued in China and Thailand (2002) and India (representative, 2003 and subsidiary 2014) and with acquisitions in France (1997).
CAR-O-LINER AND JOSAM
In 2001 Alignment Systems AB became the parent company for Car-O-Liner and Josam, a supplier of alignment systems for heavy trucks.
A long development phase was begun in 1976 with the release of Car-O-Data, vehicle data on CD-rom. In 1991 the first Car-O-Tronic electronic measuring system was launched to great success. The production of welding equipment in Kungsör began (1999) and the Speed alignment bench was introduced (2000). In order to meet production needs, wholly-owned manufacturing was started in China (2004). These new products created a need for improved customer service and the first Car-O-Liner Support and Service Center was started (2002). Car-O-Liner was on its way to becoming a total solution provider for the collision repair industry.
CERTIFICATION & TRAINING
With the development of new products Car-O-Liner recognized the need for both product and method training. Training centers were opened in China and Thailand in 2002, followed shortly thereafter by Kungsör, the USA and Germany. The 7th academy was opened in Bangkok in 2016. Recognizing the need to encourage young persons to pursue careers in collision repair Car-O-Liner has sponsored the Autobody Repair skill at WorldSkills in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017.
The company continues to grow and in 2013 Alignment Systems purchased TruckCam, a leading supplier of products for wheel alignment based on digital camera technique. Car-O-Liner continues to achieve excellence in its electronic measuring equipment and software, winning the prestigious Automechanika 2013 Innovation Award for the Vision2 software. In 2014 the company launched a new diagnostic measuring tool, PointX, and the resistance spot welder, CTR7.
In 2015 Alignment Systems AB changed its name to Car-O-Liner Group AB. And in 2016 Car-O-Liner Group was purchased by Snap-on Incorporated. The group now maintains the following brands: Car-O-Liner, Josam and TruckCam.